Revenue collection in Uasin Gishu drops

Uasin Gishu County officials have raised concerns over a drop in revenue collection in the five months to December last year.

A county assembly committee reviewing the performance of the executive heard Thursday that Sh30 million was collected in July with subsequent months recording a drop.

In August, the county collected Sh22 million, Sh24 million in September, Sh27 million in October, Sh24 million in November and Sh20 million in December.

In the 2013/14 financial year, the county estimates to raise Sh1.4 billion from land rates, business permits and other local levies to meet its expenditure targets.

The officials said the drop in revenue collection will hold back key projects that the county hopes to achieve this financial year. The county estimates to spend over Sh5 billion with the lion’s share of the projected figures being directed at improvement of infrastructure.

The committee chaired by Assembly Speaker Isaac Terer said that the finance officer did not perform his duty of ensuring growth in revenue collection in the county. The county’s finance docket is under Shadrack Sambai.

The review comes after the official in charge of trade, tourism and industrialisation Philip Melly was questioned over re-allocation of Sh10 million meant for youth and women groups.

County representatives blamed the trade office for low uptake of loans and urged Mr Melly to educate the community on the loans.

“People in the villages are not aware of Mr Melly,” said Rebecca Magut from Kapsuswa ward.

The committee also put to task Mr Melly over the construction of markets. He said he took office when some markets were already constructed and some are in areas that are not conducive and remain unoccupied.

The county is keen on small businesses to boost its revenue. Last year, it come up with a plan to fund renovation of small business shelters in Eldoret town as a way of appreciating owners’ efforts in growing county revenue. Road-side business stalls in the county were demolished last year after the Governor Jackson Mandago’s order.

The vetting process ends on Monday next week, with the interrogation of the chairman of the County Public Service Board.